Jun 26th 2015

Ten UK cities most popular with event organisers

As an event organiser there is nowhere in the world I wouldn’t go in search of the best location for my client. Wherever you are there will be spaces and venues that can be used imaginatively to host amazing events. I’m always interested in hearing why people choose the locations they do, and the most popular locations aren’t always where you might first expect.

The British Meetings and Events Industry Survey (BMEIS) is probably the most comprehensive data set we have for providing an insight into the event’s industry in the UK, and includes information from the top corporate and association and event organisers. According to its latest figures, these are the most popular cities in the UK for business events. Do you agree?

-London: Well, there’s no prizes for guessing the top spot. England’s captial city is a huge draw both nationally and internationally. It is well served by transport links and is steeped in history and culture. There is something for everyone in London, and no matter what time of year, its attraction never wanes.

corporate event locations

-Birmingham: Ask most people and they will be able to quickly name one of Birmingham’s large conference venues. The National Exhibition Centre (NEC) is hugely popular, and the city is also home to the International Convention Centre (ICC), the LG Arena and the National Indoor Arena (NIA). Birmingham has benefited from a lot of investment and redevelopment in recent years, and its central location and large population make it a consistent draw for business events.

-Manchester: As it is my home city you might say that I’m biased. I am, but I also know not to put sentimentality before good business sense, and for me Manchester wins as an event city every time. There are more than 250 venues to choose from across Greater Manchester and new venues are opening all the time. Business events is a huge growth area across the region and I can see in the next few years this will only get bigger. [TLC’s fave location of course!]

Glasgow: I was a little surprised to see Glasgow ahead of Edinburgh in the list, but expected it in the top 10. A former European City of Culture, Glasgow has some wonderful Charles Rennie architecture, good transport links and a variety of business venues including the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre.

-Leeds: For some reason many people think that Leeds is a smaller city than it is. In terms of population it is the third largest city in the UK. It’s lively and cosmopolitan and is proving to be a huge draw for corporate events.

-Edinburgh: The Scottish capital and home to probably the UK’s most famous art’s festival is understandably a popular choice for event organisers. Edinburgh Castle stands as a striking landmark in the centre of the city and is available for hire for both corporate and private events.

-Cambridge: The pretty university town is an attractive draw to those who know it both for its academic excellence and its punting on the River Cam. Many of the University buildings are available to hire, with the University offering a choice of 49 different venues and a free administration service for large events.

-Bristol: There are few cities more attractive than Bristol, with its impressive Suspension Bridge, attractive modern harbour, and spacious parks. Any event that can coincide with guests being able to visit the annual balloon festival, meander through the streets of Clifton Village or view some of Banksy’s earliest art work has got to be a winner.

-Coventry: This is perhaps a surprising addition to the list for some. The city, famous for Lady Godiva and St George the Dragon Slayer, is also clearly a very popular destination for businesses looking to hold events. Close to Birmingham International Airport and ideally placed for visits to Stratford-Upon-Avon and Warwick Castle, Coventry has placed itself firmly on the map for event organisers with almost 181,000 meeting rooms to choose from.

-Nottingham: Again, there are many cities bigger than Nottingham which didn’t make the top 10. Yet for visitors from far and wide Nottingham holds enormous appeal, not least because as the home of Robin Hood it is city rich in history and legend.

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 Jun 11th 2015

A Party Fit for A Queen

A few years ago I had the good fortune to be invited to the Queen’s garden party at Buckingham Palace, in recognition of the work I was doing with the North West Fundraising Committee for the Prince’s Trust. It was a once in a life-time opportunity and, of course, I loved every minute of it.

Garden Party Entertainment

Each year the Queen hosts at least three garden parties at Buckingham Palace as well as one at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. It is a tradition that goes back to the 1860s, when the then monarch, Queen Victoria began holding Royal ‘breakfasts’, held in the afternoon. The events were initiated to take the place of presentation parties attended by debutantes, but today are a way of rewarding and recognising public service and are attended by people from all walks of life.

It was a magical day, the only downside being that official photographers are the only people allowed to use cameras within the palace grounds. But, while I can’t share any photos from the day, I came away with lots of wonderful memories and plenty of ideas.

So, how do you throw a garden party fit for a queen?

Be clear what guests should expect

Garden parties are among the most relaxed and informal of the events hosted by the Royal family. Saying that, a strict dress code still applies and women are asked to wear a hat or fascinator. For me, finding the perfect hat to go with my outfit was a huge challenge, so I was pleased to get plenty of notice for the invitation and it was very helpful in advance to know what to expect.

Do the final checks yourself

Depending on the size of your event you may need to employ staff to look after different aspects of the party. While you don’t need to do everything yourself, you do need do the final checks before the event begins. I’m told that even the Queen personally checks everything before the gates of the Palace are opened to guests – she is a diligent hostess.

Garden Party Entertainment

Make your guests feel welcome

No matter how many guests you are entertaining, it is important that they are welcomed, either by you or by a member of your family. The Queen invites about 8000 people to each party at Buckingham Palace. On entering the Palace and gardens all guests are greeted by staff. Her Majesty the Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh obviously cannot speak to each and every guest, but they do make sure that they are seen by as many people as possible and circulate through lanes led by the Yeoman of the Guard, Gentlemen at Arms and Gentlemen Ushers, so that all guests have an equal opportunity to speak to them. At the party they are also helped by other members of the Royal Family and I was delighted to meet HRH Prince Charles.

Keep buffet queues to a minimum

Catering for 8,000 guests is no small task, especially when you consider that at a typical royal garden party around 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 individual cakes are consumed. To ensure that the food is served in a timely manner the main marquee has a 400ft long buffet table sectioned off into a number of small food stations, all serving both sandwiches and cake. This way, what could easily be one long queue is split into several smaller queues which move very quickly.

Keep the facilities clean

Using portable lavatories is often the most unpleasant part of any outdoor event, so were the Royal lavatories any different? Organisers of big events will know that there has been a massive improvement in the quality of portable lavatories in recent years, and many, like those provided by the Queen, are fully flushable lavatories which mirror anything that you would find indoors. Whether your facilities are indoors or out, to keep with Royal standards make sure that they are kept clean, are well stocked with toilet paper, and that the washbasins have both hand wash and hand cream within easy reach, as well as a plentiful stock of paper or cloth hand towels. 

 

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 Jun 8th 2015

Michelle Keegan & Mark Wright’s Big Day in Hello!

Great to see such wonderful coverage of Michelle Keegan & Mark Wight’s wedding in the pages of Hello Magazine.  Such a lovely couple-grab your copy today for more amazing photos!

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 Jun 4th 2015

New Images and Party Entertainment Ideas are online now!

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Some great new images and party entertainment ideas are online now!

 

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 Jun 3rd 2015

Father’s Day Celebration Tips

Father’s Day Celebration Tips

You might think that Father’s Day is simply an excuse for commercial companies to cash in on our feelings for loved ones, or you could see it as an opportunity to let your dad know just how much he means to you.  Our Father’s Day Celebration Tips are here to help make the day a success, by focussing them around what Dad likes!

The date of Father’s Day is not always the same in each country around the world. The UK shares the third Sunday of June with the USA, where the idea of Father’s Day originated in the early 20th century before becoming a permanent national day of observance towards the end of the century. The celebration was inspired by Mother’s Day as people thought it was a wonderful idea to celebrate the role that both parents play in children’s lives.

The commercial side of a national day can put some people off, but it is the thought put into the organisation and not the money spent that will make his day truly special. You know your dad better than anyone and know what he enjoys. But while you get your thinking caps on here’s some ideas to get you started:

Make it a family event-In some countries celebrating Father’s Day has grown to include step-dads, grandfathers, uncles and anyone who has played a father figure role in your life. If you are organising a father’s day party, it can be nice to widen the focus of the day to include all the dads in your family and to celebrate the central role they have all played in your life and also in contributing to the richness of your wider family

Make the most of the summer-June is the perfect time of year for an outdoor celebration. A barbecue is ideal if you would like to invite all your dad’s family and friends. For a more intimate celebration a picnic at a local park or the beach works well. This is also good if you want to incorporate some kind of family sporting activity, like football, cricket, volleyball or sandcastle building!

Serve dad’s favourite foods-Clearly if your dad’s favourite dish is roast beef and Yorkshire pudding you aren’t going to be able to serve that up at a picnic. But whatever form of catering you decide, keep in mind the kind of food your dad likes to eat and make sure that there is something on the menu to tickle his taste buds – it is his special day, after all.

Take a trip down memory lane-All families have wonderful stories to tell, but unfortunately in today’s busy world we don’t always have time to share them with each other. A family party can be the perfect opportunity to relive good memories or to learn something new about your family history. Putting together a collection of favourite photos of your dad and projecting them on a screen or showing them on your TV can be a good way to get the conversation started.

Remember what’s most important-There are many ways you can make your dad’s day special. Whatever you decide to do to celebrate Father’s Day it is important to remember the spirit of the day – that is to let your dad know that he is loved and appreciated. If you do that you are guaranteed a successful day – anything else is just the icing on the cake.

If you have enjoyed reading our Father’s Day Celebration Tips, try this http://www.tlc-ltd.co.uk/5-favourite-burns-night-whisky-cocktails/ to help you plan a few gorgeous whisky cocktails!

  

 

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